The London Underground by the Pint – The Furthest Pint

The London Underground, by the Pint – the Furthest Pint
July 17, 2019 Adam Stead
In Special Projects read

This is the third and final instalment in our pubs of London Underground series. We hope you’ve enjoyed it! The mean distance from the tube to a London pub is 0.18 miles, which is just under 300 metres. 

In zone 1, you are an average distance of less than 100 feet or 29 metres from a pub. This is a spectacular achievement and surely puts London as among the most pubby cities in the world.

Were you to walk to every pub from every station, your total distance would clock in at around 50 miles. Which would be enough to burn off around 5450 calories, or, about 25 pints. (So, all in all, you’d gain weight.)

But let’s get into the detail.

First, the closest. According to Google, the closest pub by walking distance to any tube statIon is The Railway Bell, which is 7ft from the underground entrance. That’s probably an underestimate. The Railway Bell is right across the street from the underground entrance, and according to the Department of Transport, ‘the distance between frontages in residential streets typically ranges from 12 m to 18 m’. This looks pretty typical, meaning it’s probably a minimum of 20 feet, which is the same distance as Google claims the second closest pub is – that’s the Junction, in Upminster.

Railway Bell South Woodfood screen shot

The barman at the Railway Bell was not impressed when I told him colleagues from other Greene King pubs had simply told me what their cheapest pint was. ‘They’ve been very naughty’, he said, and if I wanted to know how much a pint was, I’d have to call Greene King head office, who could respond to my request.

 

Google’s a little imprecise at this range, is the point, problematising the “closest” pub. For my money, the closest entrance-to-entrance distance is around 10 ft, and it’s between Highbury & Islington station entrance and the Famous Cock. Google gets a bit confused by the roadworks here, and invites me to go the long way round an entire block, so this is one of just two pubs where I overruled Google on distance.

The Famous Cock pub near Highbury & Islington

Did you know that Highbury & Islington station used to be beautiful? Well, it did. It looked like this. This is one of the worst acts of architectural vandalism of in the latter 20th century, a century famous for architectural boobies. The Famous Cock told me it was a toss up between Amstel and Peroni as to the most popular pint they sold.

 

Then, there’s a bunch of pubs which are actually in the railway stations, of course, such as the Victoria station wetherspoons. But as far as I can tell, there’s no pubs behind the barriers in tube stations in London – and it doesn’t really matter if you’re walking through a station or down a street. In the end, we had to use Google’s judgement because Google have built a complex satellite and mapping system, and I have not. The Railway Bell is the closest pub.

 

The Furthest Pub

Furthest is a little easier.

Stanmore is the absolute furthest tube station from a pub, which is 1.3 miles away from The Three Wishes. (Stanmore is 1.3 miles from just about anything; don’t go there.) 

But the reverse isn’t exactly true, because the Three Wishes is just less than half a mile from Edgware station, and The Three Wishes is only a short walk from a tube station. Similarly, the Old Maypole, which is the closest pub to Grange Hill at 1.2 miles, is also the closest pub to Hainault – at just 0.3 miles. Those are the two furthest tube stations from pubs, but not the furthest “closest pub to a tube station” from a tube station.

Only one pub on this map is over one mile from any tube station, which is the Prince of Wales pub near Moor Park on the Metropolitan line. 

Is that a door handle? This looks like a house with a pub sign to me, but they answered the phone to tell me that their most popular pint is a £4.00 pint of Foster’s.

 

But is this even really a London pub? Moor Park is in zone 7. That’s not a real zone! This is the kind of place which southerners guffaw is in the North, something something Watford Gap. It does not have a London postcode. It’s barely in the M25. 

So here’s my zonal analysis. 

The most remote pub from a tube station in zone 1 station Hyde Park Corner, which is a whopping 0.2 miles from the Rose & Crown pub. 

In zone 2 it’s White City, which is 0.4 miles from the Queen’s Tavern. 

In zone 3, the most remote station is Brent Cross, which is 0.8 miles from the Hendon, a pub in that unfortunate slither of London which is more road than place. 

And finally, in zone 4, it’s Grange Hill, which is closest to the Old Maypole, at 1.2 miles.

Rose & Crown pub, Hyde Park Corner

Looks quiet – perhaps the potential patrons of the Rose & Crown are deterred by the 320 metres they need to walk to get to the pub from Hyde Park Corner station. This is zone one. And frankly, there should be a pub within 100 metres of every tube stop.

 

As for the closest line…

 

Circle

You need to walk an average distance of 404 feet between the tube station and the pub, and you’d walk a total of 2.7 miles. Predictably, as well as the most expensive (real) line, the circle is the line where you’re closest to a drink. 

 

 

 

Baker Street pub street view image

The closest station on the circle line? Baker Street station is on the left of the shot, and Wetherspoons has hung up a banner so that you know it’s underneath the scaffolding, on the right.

Victoria 

The furthest you’d have to walk is Blackhorse Road – half a mile, which is a long way when you’ve had fourteen pints. Pubs are an average of 0.11 miles – 177 metres – from various stations. The closest station is Highbury & Islington, pictured above.

 

 

Graph showing distance between victoria line and graph

Royal Vauxhall Tavern

LGBT readers might be annoyed that this pub – the Royal Vauxhall Tavern – was not closer to Vauxhall station than the Riverside pub, which it’s not (sorry). The RVT is an iconic gay pub with drag acts from all over the world. In the 1980s Princess Diana went, accompanied by Freddie Mercury. Perhaps they imagined that one day they’d both have dreadful biopics made about them.

 

Northern

The average distance from a pub in the northern line is 216 metres. The station furthest from a pub is Brent Cross, where you’d have to walk four fifths of a mile over the flyover and past the shopping centre to get to the Hendon, which is named after the next tube stop along. 

Graph depicting distance between Northern line tube stops and pubs.

Old White Lion pub near East Finchley

The Old White Lion is 69 ft from the entrance to the East Finchley underground station, which if you can squint, you can see peeking out on the other side of the railway bridge.

 

District

Newham is the Borough of London worst hit by the decline in the pub trade – where 52% of pubs have closed since 2001. The first stop in the Borough of Newham is West Ham, and sure enough, it’s more than half a mile to the closest pub.

closest pub to the district line graph

 

 

Bayswater Arms Bayswater

I overruled Google on Bayswater, too, because it wanted me to turn right out of the station, right again, right again, until I approached the Bayswater Arms from the other side.

 

Piccadilly

The Piccadilly line is 220 metres away, on average, from the nearest pub, and the furthest you’d have to walk would be 0.8 miles to the Fox & Goose from Park Royal. The Ashbourne on Hangar Lane is a much shorter walk from the station; and is the property which prompted the longest debate about whether or not it’s a pub. The clincher for us: it’s available on Just Eat. As its signage suggests, it really is a restaurant. The closest station to a pub is Ruislip Manor, which is right next to JJ Moon’s.

Piccadilly line

 

Not allowed as a pub: the Ashbourne, which is only 413 feet from Hanger Lane station.

 

Bakerloo

The Bakerloo line is next. Don’t go to Stonebridge Park if you’re feeling thirsty. Or North Wembley. The Kenton Beefeater is right opposite Kenton station, and is also the closest pub to Northwick Park.

Bakerloo pub distance graph

The Green Man Edgware

Closest pub to a station on the Bakerloo line is the Edgware Road Bakerloo station to the Green Man pub. Edgware station was counted as two stations – one for the Bakerloo line and exit, and one for the other lines; there, the closest pub was the Chapel.

Metropolitan

I assumed that the Metropolitan – the most rural line – would be on average, the furthest from a pub. That isn’t the case. It’s three from furthest. The closest pub you can visit on the line is the Castle, in Farringdon.

 

 

Farringdon is a nice little pocket of calm between the city and the west end, and the second-closest pub to the Metropolitan line after Baker Street. I couldn’t find any interesting facts about Farringdon (although King Alfred died in the village of Faringdon in Oxfordshire, apparently) but there’s a bunch of subterranean rivers that contribute to the Thames underneath here. You can hear the River Fleet if you go just north of here to the Coach pub and listen to the drain there.

 

Central

The closest tube station to a pub is of course the Railway Bell near South Woodford. Grange Hill, a few stops later, is in sweet ass countryside and is practically Epping Forest. You have to walk for 1.2 miles to get to a pub; but what a pub! 

The Old Maypole pictured below maybe not pretty, but it sells a £2.99 cooked breakfast and you can go to a psychic night. Breakfast and a mind reading!

 

 

Jubilee

The longest walk – and one of the few walks where, there and back, you’d burn more calories than you put on from a single pint. So if you’re looking to lose weight, go to Stanmore, en route to the Three Wishes.

If you have been reading this instead of working, now is the time to sober up, and awake yourself from the trance of pub facts and figures. I hope that you have enjoyed my trivia. I hope you feel like you have learned something. And I hope you will be able to shave a couple of seconds from the time between your commute and your drinking. 

If you missed them, chapter 1 talks about the cheapest pub; chapter 2 talks about the cheapest line, or check out my notes on the project page for information about how I compiled the data.

Pubs on the Jubilee line by distance

 

The Three Wishes, Stanmore

 

The longest walk. More than one pint’s worth of calories, there and back.

 

 

The longest walk – and one of the few walks where, there and back, you’d burn more calories than you put on from a single pint. So if you’re looking to lose weight, go to Stanmore, en route to the Three Wishes.

If you have been reading this instead of working, now is the time to sober up, and awake yourself from the trance of pub facts and figures. I hope that you have enjoyed my trivia. I hope you feel like you have learned something. And I hope you will be able to shave a couple of seconds from the time between your commute and your drinking. 

 

CHAPTER 1 – THE CHEAPEST PINT

Read my introduction to how I started this odyssey – to find the cheapest pint on the tube.

CHAPTER 2 – THE CHEAPEST LINE

Curious about what the cheapest line on the tube is by PINT? Keep reading… this is the chapter where we go into a little more detail line by line, including – the cheapest line, the line with the best taste in beer, and the most popular pint on the tube.

NOTES ON THE PROJECT 

Why I’m right about what I’ve written.

 

Want to stay ahead of other stores? 💅

Get the newsletter. Once per month, for free

Comment (1)

  1. K 2 months ago

    Would be great to see your dataset to create more beautiful things.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*